An under-the-pump Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will be further challenged by a confident Delhi Capitals outfit in match number 11 of IPL 2020 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Both teams have witnessed contrasting fortunes in the tournament so far.
While Delhi have won both their matches, SRH are yet to open their account after two games.
The all-round strength of Delhi has come to the fore in the games played. If Marcus Stoinis lifted them out of trouble with a stupendous fifty against Kings XI Punjab, young Prithvi Shaw anchored the innings against the Chennai Super Kings.
In the bowling department, Kagiso Rabada has been outstanding again while Anrich Nortje, Axar Patel and Amit Mishra have made good contributions too.
SRH, on the other hand, will have to improve their batting in particular. They only managed 142 against KKR despite having six wickets in hand.
As SRH look to revive their campaign against DC, let’s look at three crucial player battles in the offing.
#1. David Warner vs Kagiso Rabada
SRH captain David Warner has not come into his element in IPL 2020 yet. He was dismissed for 6 against RCB and fell for 36 versus KKR, just when he was beginning to look dangerous. Over the years, everyone has seen what David Warner is capable of.
Warner's consistency and ability to score quickly has been on another level in previous editions of the IPL. In 128 IPL games, he has amassed 4748 runs at a strike rate of 142.11. Warner has scored in excess of 600 runs in all the three previous editions he has been part of.
The attacking Aussie opener will be keen to get back among the big runs again.
Against Delhi, though, he will be up against South African pacer Kagiso Rabada, who has been nearly impossible to play. Rabada finished as the second leading wicket-taker last season and has made significant contributions in both of Delhi’s win so far.
Rabada bowled the game-changing Super Over against KXIP and picked up 3 for 26 against the Chennai Super Kings. Warner will have to come out with something special to unsettle Rabada.
#2. Rashid Khan vs Rishabh Pant
SRH leggie Rashid Khan has not had a good tournament so far. After two games, he only has one wicket to his name at a strike rate of 48. He has been economical, though, giving away only seven runs per over. However, SRH will be keen for him to return to wicket-taking mode.
With his variations and accuracy, Khan has made a name for himself as one of the finest spinners in the T20 format. He has been extremely successful in both the IPL and the BBL and should be confident of returning to his usual form.
The SRH leg-spinner could be locked in an interesting battle with DC’s aggressive wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant in the middle overs. While Khan will look to bamboozle Pant with the different variations, the latter will look to take the attack to the spinner.
Being a left-hander, batting will be easier for Pant, as the ball will be coming into him. But Pant needs to be careful as Khan has a number of tricks up his sleeve to deceive batsmen.
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#3. Prithvi Shaw vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Delhi opener Prithvi Shaw set up the game his team against the Chennai Super Kings with a solid half-century at the top. Once he gets his eye in, Shaw can prove to be extremely dangerous for the opponent as CSK found out the other day.
Shaw played his role in DC’s revival last year, scoring 353 runs at a strike rate of 133.71, and featuring in a number of impressive opening stands with Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order. He will be keen to carry on his good work this season.
For SRH to do well against DC, they will need to strike early with the ball. Considering the long batting line up that Delhi possesses, the Hyderabad bowlers could be in for a leather hunt if they do not get early wickets.
This is where Bhuvneshwar Kumar will have a key role to play. He has been SRH’s most effective bowler over the last few seasons. Bhuvneshwar, though, is yet to get a wicket after two games this year although his economy of 7.71 is acceptable. Bhuvneshwar will have to find a way to get past the dangerous Shaw for SRH to be successful.Published 29 Sep 2020, 14:52 IST